A longtime friend of a former police officer charged with murder testified Tuesday that the defendant picked her up in his truck one morning and told her the body of his young son's pregnant mother was in the back.
Myisha Ferrell said she went with Bobby Cutts Jr. to a park where he dumped Jessie Marie Davis' body, and that he coached her on what to tell investigators later.
Her voice shook when she testified about what she saw as Cutts took out the body, which was wrapped in a blanket.
"Her feet," she said. "I didn't want to see nothing else."
Ferrell is a key witness against Cutts, who could face the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder.
Prosecutors say Cutts, who was feeling the pressure of his crumbling marriage, financial debt and supporting several children, strangled Davis in her home and disposed of her body with Ferrell. The 2-year-old son Cutts had with Davis was found home alone.
Cutts led investigators to Davis' body, but the defense says he had nothing to do with her death.
Cutts, 30, a former Canton patrolman, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and other charges in the death of Davis and her female fetus. Thousands searched for Davis in the area surrounding her northeast Ohio home in the days she was missing after her June death.
Ferrell was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to lying to authorities and complicity to gross abuse of a corpse.
'He kind of used his arm'
She testified Tuesday that she was high from drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana all night when Cutts showed up at her house after 6 a.m. June 14. Cutts looked nervous that day, like she'd never seen him before, she said.
After Cutts told Ferrell the body was in his truck bed, she asked him what happened.
"He just said he kind of used his arm," said Ferrell, then held up her right arm at the level of her neck, re-enacting what Cutts demonstrated for her.
Ferrell testified that after Cutts dumped Davis' body, he dumped two trash bags in a trash bin. She didn't know where.
"What were you doing?" prosecutor Dennis Barr asked.
"Trying to stay sane," Ferrell said.
Cutts called Davis' cell phone at 7:11 that morning, according to phone records. Davis' cell phone was missing from her home and investigators have not been able to find it. Ferrell testified that she threw a pink cell phone out a window, but that she did not know whose phone it was.
Cutts stopped at a gas station to buy mulch at a gas station. Their next stop was at his house, where he showered to get ready for football practice at the local high school where he was an assistant coach.
Later, when investigators wanted to interview her, she said, Cutts told her what to tell them.
"He told me just tell him that I was going to baby-sit his son and his mom never showed up to drop him off," she said.
Son's statement recounted
On cross-examination, defense attorney Myron Watson asked Ferrell if Cutts had ever been violent or used his position as a police officer to intimidate anyone. She said he hadn't.
Earlier Tuesday, Cutts removed his glasses and wiped his eyes when jurors looked at crime scene photos, including one of Davis' barely recognizable corpse.
Davis' sister, Whitney Davis, left the courtroom after prosecutors displayed the photos on courtroom monitors.
Sgt. Eric Weisburn of the Stark County Sheriff's Department testified that Cutts led investigators to Davis' body in a park about 20 miles from her home after they used cell phone records to place him in the area the night Davis disappeared.
Defense attorney Fernando Mack questioned Weisburn about the reliability of statements made by the son of Davis and Cutts, 2 1/2-year-old Blake Davis.
Weisburn testified Monday that the Blake told him: "Mommy's crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in the rug," and "Daddy's mad."
"You don't believe everything a 2 1/2-year-old says to you?" Mack asked.
"No," Weisburn said.
He also testified that on the day Cutts led him and other investigators to her body there was no conversation about how the body arrived there.